The quality of graphics in games is constantly growing, and this forces PC owners to regularly update their systems in order to comfortably pass AAA titles. However, sometimes only the most powerful computers and laptops are able to show the game as it was conceived by the developers.
Below we tell you about the five most demanding video games of their time.
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
The legendary RPG from Bethesda Softworks has become a milestone in the development of not only role-playing games, but also graphic technologies. And also — one of the most demanding hardware video games of its time.
Of course, today such an old school is unlikely to surprise anyone. But in 2002, the graphics of the TES III were really impressive – not least thanks to the dynamic water, which finally began to look exactly like water, and not like a frozen jelly. Highlights, reflections and shadows looked like real… And they easily brought the most powerful PC builds to their knees. Although in general it was possible to launch the game on a two-year GeForce2 GTS with 32 MB of video memory, a comfortable game on “maximalki” already required something like GeForce4 Ti 4400 with 128 MB.
Our selection could not do without this game in any way. The original Crysis 2007 was a real graphic breakthrough, showing the entire industry how the video games of the future should look like. The shooter was the first game with DirectX 10 support (at that time it was only available on Windows Vista), boasted huge sandbox levels with impressive destructibility, and for the first time began using SSAO global lighting technology in real time.
With all this, the Crysis system requirements seemed almost boorish. It was simply impossible to launch the game normally at the Extreme graphics level at the time of its release: there was no suitable configuration, and even the top-end GeForce 8800 Ultra did not pull the maximum settings.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The best RPG of the last decade and the most beautiful game of 2015, “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” and seven years after its release is able to surprise with its visual. And it’s not just about filigree art design or a living, literally breathing world. A whole set of NVIDIA GameWorks tools worked on the image quality, like HairWorks, which is responsible for the reliable display of hair and wool, or HBAO+, a cunning local shading system capable of simulating scattered light.
Of course, such an abundance of graphic bells and whistles could not but affect the system requirements of the game. Although the developers officially recommended NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770, in order for the fps counter to stay around 60 at the “maximum” in Full HD, GeForce GTX 980 was already required.
“Graphically, Metro Exodus is probably the most beautiful game released recently.” Of course, after all, it was the second project after Battlefield V, where NVIDIA’s proprietary ray tracing technology was used. And, perhaps, the first one with which the owners of the RTX line of video cards really understood why they needed those same retracing blocks. Soft lighting. Realistic reflections. Dust motes dancing in the sunlight… all this influenced the immersion into the atmosphere of the Russian post-apocalypse no less than spacious and detailed levels, realistic weather or lively, worked-out characters.
Unsurprisingly, Metro Exodus also required colossal resources. To get 60 frames per second at the maximum graphics settings in Full HD resolution, you need at least a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
The main feature of Microsoft Flight Simulator is its map: a whole globe on a scale of 1:1 with procedural precipitation generation and almost real physics. Alas, such luxury naturally affects the requirements not only for the configuration of the PC, but also for the bandwidth of the Internet channel. In addition to a stable and fast Internet connection needed to download the virtual world, weather and navigation data in real time, for absolute realism at the start, the game required a GeForce RTX 2080 with 8 GB of memory, and it was enough end-to-end.
Fortunately, after the big patch released by the developers in July 2021, the performance of the game has increased significantly. Now, to fly over the world at 60 frames per second with ultra-settings, the “modest” RTX 2060 Super is enough.
So, this was our list of the most demanding games of its time. We may have missed something, so let us know in the comments below.